Sick leave happens from time to time in the workplace.
Sure, there are some people that may take it for granted every now and then. But, there are also other employees who should probably utilise it more for the benefit of their health and wellbeing.
However, you can’t group these two types of employees in the same category. Although you should ask them the same questions upon their return to the workplace. If you’re struggling with what to say, then try these lines out when you welcome them back to work.
1. How Are You Feeling?
It might seem obvious, but this is something that many managers still fail to ask. You also need to be genuine with your concern. If the employee has had several days off and it has been an inconvenience to you, then you can’t show this. A reaction like this may deter them from taking leave in the future and cause your relationship with them to suffer.
2. Do You Think You’ll Need More Time to Recuperate?
This question is more for you than for your employee. While they might not be able to answer 100%, it allows you to plan ahead in the instance that your person may not be able to complete their duties. If they feel like they’re able to return completely, then this is good news. But, if they then take another day off sick, you can broach a different conversation about their illness and if something else is actually going on.
3. Do You Need to Alter Your Duties?
Perhaps your employee has returned but is only at 70% capacity. Rather than return them to their old workload, can they reduce their duties as they transition back to the office? This can help decrease the instance of more unplanned leave as well as keep the momentum going for the business. Even if it’s at a slower rate while the employee continues to recover from their illness.
4. Can I Take Some Work Off Your Plate?
This question is also for your benefit. If your employee has some important tasks that need to be finished, then this provides you with the opportunity to take them back or the assurance that it’s going to get done. If you stress the importance of some of the workloads to them, then they should hopefully provide with you an honest answer of when it can be completed.
5. Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Accommodate?
Does your employee need any special equipment or additional breaks to ease them back into the hustle and bustle? Your employee should know they can count on you and that you want what’s best for them. If you are able to accommodate any special requests, then it may keep them in the office longer and avoid any future days off. Just don’t start making teas and coffees. It should be related to their equipment and their workload.
Struggling With Sick Leave?
Unplanned leave can be a chronic problem for many workplaces. It’s not something that should be ignored and can be improved if you ask the right questions, show empathy, and make accommodations. This will help make your employee feel like they’re supported whenever they’re a little under the weather.
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